God Will Provide

whiteflower

I’ve lost my energy and passion for the work that consumes most of my life; instead I stay at it out of convenience and fear and a sense of responsibility to my family and co-workers and not having a clear idea of what to do next — what is my passion?

I search for the aspects of my day that energize me and make me feel alive and as if I’m contributing but haven’t been able to translate those bits and pieces into a plan that looks like a career path I can head down.

And thinking about my income going away scares me and my family, who count on it to help pay the mortgage and the college tuition and the grocery bill and … well, you get the picture.

I’ve started in the month of June to read the prayers and readings from The Divine Hours Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle, and it’s a beautiful way to start each morning. This morning it turns out I actually accidentally read ahead, what I shouldn’t be reading until June 22, but it turned out to be the perfect reading for me.

Taken from Luke 12:22-31, it goes like this:

This is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and how you clothe it. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Think of ravens. They do not sow or reap; they have no store houses and no barns; yet God feeds them.

And how much more are you worth than the birds!

ravens

Can any of you, however much you worry, add a single cubit to your span of life? If a very small thing is beyond your powers, why worry about the rest? Think how the flowers grow; they never have to spin or weave; yet, I assure you not even Solomon in all his royal robes was clothed like one of them.

Wildflowers_-_geograph.org.uk_-_473362

Now if that is how God clothes a flower which is growing wild today and is thrown in the furnace tomorrow, how much more will he look after you, who have so little faith! But you must not set your hearts on things to eat and things to drink; nor must you worry. … Your Father knows well you need them. No, set your heats on his kingdom, and these other things will be given you as well.

(The Divine Hours Prayers for Summertime at 103).

It reminds me that if I truly want to find what God wove me together to do, then by focusing more on strengthening my relationship with Him, and on truly loving everyone and actively living that love, all will fall into place. Why is letting go and loving so perfect and yet so darn hard?

So my prayer for today is to free myself to fly like the raven, and beautify the world like the wildflowers that sprout untended in the fields, by pouring out my love freely and worrying less about myself and trusting more.

sunrise


Remembering Mama Fling

The Fling Family while living in Riviera, Texas

My great-grandmother enriched my life in ways that are still evolving.  That’s my great-grandmother standing in her Sunday best (how they kept their clothes so white in such a dusty farm is evidence of the miracles of lye soap and lots of elbow grease) in the photo above, her arm protectively learning on the carriage in which my grandmother lies.  They had a hard, hard life but you would never know it. Both of my great-grandparents lived until I was 12, and lived only 30 minutes from my house, so I got to visit often.

I don’t recall ever even speaking to my great-grandfather…  he was ancient in my eyes and his worn, wrinkled skin seemed to be shrunken on his tall, thin, brittle frame.  He had a permanent look of sternness that assured I’d never voluntarily go up to him for a hug.  Not only do I not recall him speaking to me, I don’t recall him speaking at all, though I’m sure he must have at some point.  He was usually found napping in the back bedroom when we’d come to visit, a silent, mysterious man who seemed to have no connection to child that was me. But my Mama Fling was another matter altogether. Her kind, loving, gracious, generous soul shown through and I’d sink into her soft belly with a big hug when she turned around from the stove to greet me.  She was almost always at the stove, somehow managing to stretch what little they had into a Sunday dinner big enough to feed anyone that decided to show up, and everyone usually did.

After dinner (as we called lunch) I’d put on her old, old-fashioned, cotton bonnet that always hung by the back door and pretend I was Laura in Little House on the Prairie while I wandered through the backyard hunting for eggs the chickens had left, or catching a ride on a horse if one of the uncles happened to bring one by.

I’d always find a way to visit the old wooden shed out in the front yard that served as the area’s gas/convenience store, stocked with a big tin cooler of ice and soda water bottles, with candy bars and dry goods crammed on the shelves. It also had an old-fashioned gas pump, the kind with a glass ball on top that you really had to actually pump for gas to come out, though I never saw anyone actually stop for gas (this was the 60s and technology had already passed them by, but no one bothered to remove the old pump and for all I know it remains there to this day, stuck in the hard red dirt that symbolizes Turney, Texas to me).

Everyone in the small town called my great-grandmother Mama Fling, even if not actually related to her, because she made everyone feel like family.  And she loved the Lord, talking to God in prayer whenever she had a worry on her mind or a word of thanksgiving, whether over the stove as she cooked or pushing a broom around the kitchen.  Jesus was her best friend, and she called on him daily.  She spent all Sunday at the Corinth Baptist Church across the street from her house, having the preacher over to the house for lunch every week.  God was an integral part of her life every day.  She had no judgmental or hypocritical bone in her body, just a life lived with joy and love and grace.   She had no material wealth, but an abundance of love, the memory of which continues to live on.  Her children continued to talk about how blessed they were to have her as their Mother even as they were in their 80s and 90s, and how rich they felt for having been in her life.

I tried to model being a mother after her, and didn’t even come close, but I know my life is richer for having known her and I am inspired by her example to get closer to God, to focus on what’s important in life, and to remember than even if life is tough, and feel unappreciated, or worn out by work and stress and multi-tasking, and even if I never do anything to leave a mark on this earth that is remembered after I’m gone and that shows I lived life fully while I was here, I just have to remember that she didn’t write a book or create art or new technology or receive any award, many years after her death her legacy still lives on, in the hearts of all who knew her.  She was loved, and the world was a better place because she lived in it, and she enriched my life in layers I’m still unwrapping as I uncover the “wise old woman” that’s been buried inside me for too many years.  I feel that part of her lives on in me, and my desire to honor that heritage helps make me try harder to focus more on simple things, and the most complex thing one could ever hope to master, the ability to truly love.


Inspired By An Email Failure To Communicate

Today’s The Daily Love blog began with a quote from the Bible, then an explanation that, even if you aren’t a Christian, you shouldn’t automatically ignore the wisdom set forth in the quote.  My initial reaction was to email the blogger to question why he felt he had to “apologize” for including a Biblical quote in his post.  I got myself quite worked up about it, going so far as to email him a comment — something I’d never done in my months of reading his blog.

The email didn’t go through.  I signed off the computer and turned to the next item on my task list for this Sunday — 45 minutes of Kundalini Yoga.  And as I sat in Easy Pose doing my daily Kundalini Yoga for Chakra 5 with Maya Fiennes (she says do it every day for 40 days and see if it causes you to speak the truth)  the idea came to me (when I was supposed to be focusing on my Third Eye —  focusing during meditation is still a work in progress) that rather than emailing the blogger, I could create my own blog to express  my feelings on the topic.  Thereby checking two items off my list — venting my feelings about  how people feel they have to apologize for being a Christian but can be proud of being Buddhist or some other religion seen as more enlightened, and sitting down to write each day.  (One item that always keeps it place on my To Do List is to Relax, not try to accomplish so many things in one day.  That one rarely gets checked off.)

So as I sat in rock pose and turned my head from side to side mentally saying “Sat Nam” (Truth Is My Name) I thought of different  blog titles that would capture the journey I’ve been on for the past year or so, in a way that would tell anyone interested in reading what this blog will be about.  53-Yr-Old-Questor?  BalancingMom?  The names that came to me were all too limiting.  Yes, I’m in my 50s and I assume there are other 50-somethings in similar spots, but it’s not just a question of age.   Yes I’m a Mom and partner at a large law firm spending so many hours on work and business development and admin tasks that I’m hard-pressed to find time to read, relax, exercise, …, but that’s not really the focus of my search.   I’m an East Texan (therefore Southerner) living in Southern California, so in some ways am the proverbial fish out of water.  And a life-long Christian who grew up spending most of my daily life in my Southern Baptist church, who assumes everyone grew up singing Jesus Loves Me and celebrates Easter and has John 3:16 memorized, and is shocked about how naive I still am every time I learn that one or more of those things is simply not true.  And I’m now married to a man who spends part of each day in Buddhist chanting, who is a TEDster, who was one of those very hippies that so horrified the third-grade me (more on that to come).  And I’m on a quest to change my french-fry and burger with diet coke habit for organic, home made carrot coriander soup and other healthy foods.

Then “An Enriching Life” popped into my head, and I knew that was it.  Being a Six on the Enneagram I also worried and was in fact convinced that the name would already be taken.  But it turns out it was there, just waiting for me. It was meant to be.  Because Enrichment is a great word for this journey.  I’m seeking to enrich my life, in every way that entails.  Whether through improving the food I put into my body or learning the pleasures of cooking for myself and my family (something I’ve insistently resisted most of my life), or through using my faith in and love for Jesus in a way that, combined with Chakra work and chanting and meditative walks in nature and all the different ways each of us can seek to connect with Love, Nature, Something Bigger Than Ourselves — grows my spirit and, with it, my spirituality.  I want it to be about love and not judgment.  Comfort, not critique.  I want to be the person God meant me to be, to fulfill whatever purpose He might have had for putting me on this earth, to make the earth or my little place in it just a tiny bit better because of having been here.  Or to evolve sufficient so that in my next incarnation I won’t have to repeat lessons because I’ve learned them already, here, in this life.  Or that in Heaven I have something to say when the angel asks me what I did with all the many blessings I’ve been given on this earth.

So I’m writing a blog inspired by an email that was returned to sender.  Hopefully turning a little setback into a grand learning, joyful adventure.

And, by the way, I went back and re-looked at the blog that had gotten my dander up and realized that really the author wasn’t being apologetic.  He was just saying that no matter what you believe, you can learned from the quoted Bible verse.  And my initial reaction to it was a knee-jerk reaction that resulted from my frequent feeling that people judge me, judge Christians, in ways they don’t judge those like my husband who practice Buddhist chanting or other religions that are seen as less … I don’t know … judgmental?  I feel that people assume I am narrow-minded or worse when they find out that I am a Christian, without knowing anything about me or even about my faith.  It’s so sad that organized religion seems to have turned people away from God and that so many seem to use it for political agendas in a way that’s contrary to the truth they profess to believe.  In the end, I’m glad my email didn’t get through, because it wasn’t true, and it inspired me to start writing this blog.

There’s much to discuss, and learn.  Come with me.  I know I’m not alone in seeking an abundant, rich, fulfilling life and I’d love your support and guidance along the journey.  And hope we have many adventures along the way!